Decision-Making Does not Moderate the Association between Cannabis Use and Body Mass Index among Adolescent Cannabis Users

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2016 Oct;22(9):944-949. doi: 10.1017/S1355617716000278. Epub 2016 Apr 15.


Objectives: Results from research conducted on the association between cannabis use and body mass index (BMI) reveal mixed findings. It is possible that individual differences in decision-making (DM) abilities may influence these associations.

Methods: This study analyzed how amount of cannabis use, DM performance, and the interaction of these variables influenced BMI and clinical classifications of weight among adolescents (ages 14 to 18 years; 56% male; 77% Hispanic). The sample consisted primarily of cannabis users (n=238) without a history of significant developmental disorders, birth complications, neurological conditions, or history of mood, thought, or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder at screening. Furthermore, few participants engaged frequently in other drug use (except for alcohol and nicotine).

Results: Analyses revealed that more lifetime cannabis use was associated with a higher BMI and greater likelihood of being overweight/obese. Interactions between DM and cannabis use on BMI were not significant, and DM was not directly associated with BMI.

Discussion: Our findings suggest that among adolescents, cannabis use is associated with a greater BMI regardless of DM abilities and this association is not accounted for by other potential factors, including depression, alcohol use, nicotine use, race, ethnicity, or IQ. (JINS, 2016, 22, 944-949).

Keywords: Addiction; Adolescence; Drug use; Obesity and executive abilities; Risk-taking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / physiology*
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Decision Making / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Use*